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CR3 #79: Gone South by Robert McCammon

Dan Lambert is a Vietnam vet whose whole life is falling apart around him. He's broke, unemployed, and dying slowly from a combat-related disease. Just when he thinks that things can't possibly get any worse, they do. In a moment of rage and panic, he accidentally kills a man. Alone and on the run, he isn't sure what to do. Along the way, he meets up with a disfigured young girl who is searching for a mythical healer. Dan finds himself unwillingly helping her in her quest, all while trying to figure out what his next step should be. The situation is further confused by the advent of two very, very unusual bounty hunters.

This was a really great read. The main characters are all quirky and interesting without being over the top. Even bounty-hunters Flint and Pelvis--who could definitely come off as cartoonish--are drawn in such a way that they are totally believable. I was deeply interested in the characters and rooting for all of them. The plot moved along quickly, and I never found myself bored or skipping ahead. McCammon's writing style is engaging and he moves between pathos and humor with equal skill. The scenes at the beginning with Dan explaining his situation are gut-wrenching, and some of the scenes between Flint and Pelvis had me giggling aloud.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an odd caper now and then.

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